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Veteran's Day Exhibition, Fundings: Citrine Informatics, Xanadu, Second Front Systems
16 November 2022 - A Weekly Publication by New North Ventures
Venture Partners Susan Kilrain and LTG (R) Rick Waddell spoke at Crystal Bridges’ exhibition “We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy” exploring the importance of the U.S. Constitution and free speech to democracy on Veteran’s Day last week.
“The basic oath of enlistment was written by our Founders in 1789 when the Constitution went into effect, and continued unchanged which means that the people who wrote the Constitution would recognize today's oath. I offer that as an astounding connection across every generation of Americans so far. That oath binds us to those simple words and profound ideas.” -LTG (R) Rick Waddell
“In Belgium even now 100 years after the Great War, every town has a ceremony at the nearest World War One Cemetery and every single year the citizens thank any American who shows up to pay respect. Several Generations have passed yet I was very humbled to see how the new generation still thanks Americans for fighting for their freedom over a hundred years ago.” -Susan Kilrain
Elevator Pitch: Materials data and artificial intelligence platform designed to develop new high-performance materials and chemicals.
Funding: The company raised $12.60 million of venture funding from undisclosed investors on November 14, 2022.
Key People: Founder Christian Weedbrook Ph.D
Elevator Pitch: Quantum photonic platform intended to build computers that are useful and available to people everywhere. Advanced artificial intelligence to integrate quantum silicon photonic chips into existing hardware in order to create a full-stack quantum computer, enabling clients to receive a quantum technology-based computing facility using a photonic cluster state technology.
Funding: The company raised $100 million of Series C venture funding in a deal led by Georgian on November 9, 2022, putting the company's pre-money valuation at $900 million. BDC Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Capricorn Investment Group, Forward Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Timothy Draper, Porsche Automobil Holding, and Silicon Valley Bank also participated in the round.
Elevator Pitch: Acquisition warfare software intended to find, analyze, select, test, and prototype emerging technologies for national security use cases.
Funding: The company raised $19.13 million through a combination of Series A-1 and Series A venture funding from Moore Strategic Ventures and other undisclosed investors on November 3, 2022, putting the company's pre-money valuation at $75 million.
U.S. companies are ahead of the rest of the world in a key strategic area—hypersonic aircraft. The motivations, objectives and urgency for both the commercial and military sectors naturally align nontraditional, venture-backed startups and the Pentagon in this area.
“Success at such companies is a success for our national security. To achieve that, we need to supercharge the U.S. innovation ecosystem via partnership between the private sector and the Pentagon.”
Partnering with the Pentagon is a notoriously slow and tedious process. The asynchrony in speed and risk tolerance inherently pulls the Pentagon and startups apart.
The 2022 National Defense Strategy calls for emerging technologies to “retool economics, transform militaries and reshape the world.” Startups are set apart from contractors because of the energy, agility, skill, and private capital they bring.
The Pentagon and startups must come together now to deliver modern capabilities on relevant timelines. If this partnership fails, the U.S. loses.
The Defense Innovation Board is an advisory board set up to bring technological innovation from Silicon Valley to the U.S. Military.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has assigned two tasks to the Defense Innovation Board: assess the Pentagon’s relationship to investment capital and provide input on the department’s upcoming science and technology strategy.
“The Ukrainian success at standing off the Russians is built on American technology, and the capabilities of [US-made] weapons … has just shown to be so much superior to anything the Russians had.”
The DIB “has been a force in shaping DoD acquisition practices/priorities,” with access to a range of private sector experts who advise the Pentagon on how to engage with the private sector; particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence, software, digital modernization and data.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese secures a meeting with President Xi Jinping. He says Australia will not follow the ‘more draconian’ trade policies the U.S. has recently implemented to block the export of certain sensitive technologies to China.
Australia plays a small role in global semiconductor supply chains and is seeking to stabilize their relationship with their biggest trade partner - China, while also ensuring the case for national security, interests, and affirming importance of issues like human rights.
It is hoped that the upcoming talks between the Australian Prime Minister and Xi Jinping will result in the freeing of current trading blockages.
Look for a new episode of Securing the Future Podcasts wherever you listen. In our latest episode we have guest Laura Thomas of ColdQuanta, sit down with General Partner Brett Davis for an engaging conversation on the future of quantum and national security. Listen below on Spotify.